The Wrong Determination

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In the State of Florida, most businesses with four or more employees must carry a workers’ compensation policy. State laws determine whether a business needs coverage and which employees must be included on the policy. Today’s fraud article is about a Tallahassee, Florida business owner who bypassed state law and made a determination on his own. (A wrong one, I might add.) He chose not to purchase a workers’ compensation policy for employees, which put their health, safety and welfare in danger. (Now he has to answer to charges of workers’ compensation fraud for the second time.)

It’s not very hard to apply for workers’ compensation insurance as an employer. Business owners must calculate their payroll because workers’ compensation insurance rates are based on the payroll of employees who will be covered by the policy. Then, the owner must contact an insurance agency for a quote. After a few forms are filled out, the process is complete and employees are covered for on-the-job injuries, while employers are protected from law suits. (It’s supposed to be a win-win situation.)

The Tallahassee man at the center of today’s workers’ compensation fraud case owns a medical licensing service company specializing in the licensing of physicians within the State of Florida. The company’s website touts that the business makes the process as “physician friendly” as possible by handling most of the paperwork required for proper licensure. (It’s ironic that the business owner is very familiar about filling out mounds and mounds of paperwork for his clients, but he couldn’t manage to fill out a couple of forms to ensure the safety of his workers.)

The Florida business owner was recently arrested for the second time for failing to provide workers’ compensation benefits to his employees. (He must really hate filling out paperwork.) The 48-year-old was released from a local detention center on a $5,000 bond. He admitted that he knew his workers’ compensation policy had lapsed and that he knowingly committed insurance fraud. Just as this Floridian was determined to save some money by shortchanging his employees, I’m sure Florida’s Workers’ Compensation Laws will be just as determined to make sure this man is justly sentenced for committing workers’ compensation fraud.

Today’s “Fraud of the Day” is based on an article entitled, “Business owner accused of workers’ compensation fraud,” posted on WTXL.com on January 30, 2019.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) – A Tallahassee business owner was arrested for failing to provide the state-mandated workers’ compensation benefits to his employees.

Michele Andrea Bertoldi, 48, was released from the Leon County Detention Center on Sunday on a $5,000 bond.

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Larry Benson
Larry Benson is currently the Director of Strategic Alliances for Revenue Discovery and Recovery at LexisNexis Risk Solutions. In this role, Benson is responsible for developing partnerships for the tax and revenue and child support enforcement verticals. He focuses on embedded companies that have a need for third-party analytics to enhance their current offerings.